friends, parks, picnics...six feet but not distant
A summer without outdoor concerts, street festivals or open beaches made Chicago’s most favorite season feel a little less, well, summer-y. So how do you responsibly socialize and still enjoy the three (maybe four) glorious months of warm weather and sunshine? With a picnic of course!
This summer we have loved seeing all our favorite parks full of small, socially distanced groups of people still finding a way to gather around a table, or picnic blanket and share good food. Just as there are hundreds of parks, so are there ways to picnic. It can be as simple as picking up food from your favorite local spot, eating right out of to-go containers and sitting on the grass or as fancy as using cloth napkins, real glasses and a tiny table. We fall somewhere in the middle, but it should come as no surprise that we find the most important part of picnicking is that the food is delicious and most delicious at room (outdoor) temperature AND that it all tastes good together! Because transporting food that has to be served hot or cold can be stressful and whether you’re team real plates or paper, only having to use one per person is key. So pack the plates and blankets and enjoy outdoor dining while you still can!
This slow roasted salmon makes the perfect picnic dish. It's incredibly easy to make, best served at room temperature, feels fancy and goes with just about anything. We love eating it alongside a crisp shaved vegetable salad, slow roasted peppers, marinated beans, and a great baguette.
- 1 2 lb. salmon filet
- 3/4 c. olive oil
- 1 orange, sliced thin, skin on
- 1 lemon, sliced thin, skin on
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced thin, fronds reserved
- 4 sprigs of dill, plus extra for serving
- sea salt or kosher salt + fresh groud pepper
- Preheat oven to 275°. Toss sliced fennel + fronds, orange slices, lemon slices, and dill in a baking dish, season with salt and pepper.
- Season salmon with a big pinch of salt and place on top of fennel/citrus mixture. Pour oil over top.
- Roast until salmon is just cooked through (30–40 minutes for medium-rare.) Transfer salmon to picnic friendly container with a tight fitting lid. Spoon fennel mixture and oil from baking dish over. Discard dill sprigs.
- Season with more sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and top with remaining fresh dill.